|

Handling Infections During Pregnancy

When you're pregnant, your immune system is slightly suppressed. This is necessary to stop you from rejecting the baby, who is genetically half the father's! This means that you may be slightly more susceptible to common problems such as colds, coughs, a sore throat, or food poisoning, and that the illness may last longer.

Colds and coughs

Most women get a cough or cold at some stage during their pregnancy. However, you should avoid taking cold medications since these can contain ingredients that are not safe in pregnancy, especially during the first three months (see Cold remedies). Steam inhalations can ease congestion and hot honey drinks help to soothe a sore throat. Saline nasal sprays can also help relieve congestion.

Flu

If you get the flu during pregnancy, call your doctor to get advice or make an appointment. Drink plenty of liquids and get plenty of rest. Don't take any flu or cold medications without talking to your doctor first. Flu complications can include dehydration and pneumonia, and complications are more common in pregnant women. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all pregnant women should get flu vaccinations. However, the CDC says they should not get the nasal-spray flu vaccine, which is not approved for pregnant women.

Food poisoning and stomach upsets

A severe episode of food poisoning can cause problems for you and your baby and could trigger an early miscarriage, so it's vital to practice good kitchen hygiene (see Dietary precautions). If you do develop food poisoning or a stomach upset, try to drink plenty of fluids, and if it continues for more than 24 hours, see your doctor (see also Gastroenteritis).

Yeast

If you have an abnormal discharge, talk to your doctor since this may be yeast (candidiasis), which is common in pregnancy. A swab may be taken to confirm the diagnosis, and an appropriate local antifungal treatment prescribed . Eating natural yogurt may help restore the bacterial balance in your vagina. Wearing cotton underwear and avoiding tight clothing is also recommended.

Urinary infections

Many pregnant women get urinary infections because the hormone progesterone relaxes all of the smooth muscle, allowing the bacteria that normally live in your vagina to travel up the urethra (the tube that leads to the bladder) where they may cause an infection. The symptoms of a urinary infection may be slightly different in pregnancy. You may have the classic symptoms of burning when urinating and frequent passing of urine, or you may have different symptoms such as back pain, lower abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. These are usually easily treated with antibiotics, most of which are safe in pregnancy.

Woman sleeping in chair

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

Quick Polls

Q: Has being pregnant affected your bathroom habits?

Yes -- ugh!

No, thankfully!

View Results

highlights

Create Your Baby Registry with Target
Do you have everything you need to care for your new bundle of joy? Create your Target baby registry today!

Birth Control After Baby: 5 Options for Breastfeeding Moms
Find out which non-permanent birth control methods are safest for breastfeeding moms, and discuss your options with your doctor to find one that works for you and your partner.

Where Should Newborns Sleep? Comparing Bassinets, Cradles & More
Where will your bundle of joy sleep when she comes home? Get shopping and safety tips for choosing a bassinet, play yard, or other crib alternative that will fit in your bedroom, per AAP guidelines.

Top 100 Baby Names of 2015
Want to see which baby girl names and boy names are hot in the U.S. right now? Check out these lists from the S.S.A., and click on the names to see their meanings!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

© 2000-2015  Sandbox Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.